Diverticulitis can cause severe pain and become a lingering problem that negatively impacts your quality of life. Fortunately, at South Shore Surgical in Valley Stream, New York, surgeon and physician Ira Klonsky, MD, treats diverticulitis with innovative treatment methods and surgical techniques. If surgery is necessary, rest assured you’re in the best possible experienced hands. Find relief from your pain and call the friendly office staff or click to schedule online.

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What is diverticulitis?

Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that develop on the lining of your digestive system. They’re usually found in the lower part of your large intestine (colon). Diverticula are common, particularly in the aging population.

Most diverticula don’t cause any problems, but, in some cases, one or more of the pouches can become infected or inflamed. This is known as diverticulitis.

Diverticulitis can cause a fever, nausea, severe abdominal pain, and a noticeable change in your bowel movements. If you have diverticulitis, you might also notice abdominal tenderness, constipation or diarrhea, and persistent pain, typically in the lower abdominal area.

What causes diverticulitis?

The cause of diverticula and diverticulitis isn’t exactly clear, but certain risk factors might play a role, such as:

  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • A diet too low in fiber
  • Certain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids

Diverticulitis can lead to various complications, such as an abscess, a blockage in the colon or small intestine, and a fistula — an abnormal passageway between sections of bowel or the bladder and bowel.

How is diverticulitis diagnosed?

Diverticulitis is diagnosed with a physical exam and various tests, such as blood and urine tests and a computed tomography (CT) scan.

After diagnosis, Dr. Klonsky can help you decide the best way to treat your diverticulitis.

How is diverticulitis treated?

Treatment of diverticulitis varies depending on the severity and symptoms. Dr. Klonsky might recommend antibiotics; nutrition and dietary changes; acetaminophen or other over-the-counter pain relievers; or surgery.

Some cases of diverticulitis might require inserting a tube to drain an abdominal abscess.

There are different types of surgery to treat diverticulitis, such as a primary bowel resection and a bowel resection with colostomy.

A primary bowel resection involves the removal of the diseased segments of your intestine to allow you to have normal bowel movements. Depending on the level of inflammation present, you might have traditional open surgery or advanced minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.

Bowel resection with a colostomy is often performed if you have so much inflammation that it isn’t possible to rejoin your rectum and colon. Dr. Klonsky connects an opening (stoma) in your abdominal wall to the healthy part of your colon, and waste passes through the opening and into a bag. Once the inflammation has eased, the colostomy might be reversed, and the bowel might be reconnected.

If diverticulitis is darkening your days, call South Shore Surgical or book online for prompt quality care.